Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)
CSBG is a federal, anti-poverty block grant which funds the operations of a state-administered network of local agencies. This grant provides core funding to local agencies to reduce poverty, revitalize low-income communities and to empower low-income families to become self-sufficient. The CSBG network consists of more than 1,000 agencies that create, coordinate and deliver programs and services to low-income Americans in 99 percent of the nation’s counties touching the lives of over 15 million people.
Most agencies in the CSBG network are Community Action Agencies (CAAs), created through the Economic Opportunity Act, a predecessor of the CSBG. Community representation and accountability are hallmarks of the CSBG network, where agencies are governed by a tri-partite board. This board structure consists of elected public officials, representatives of the low-income community, and appointed leaders from the private sector.
Because the CSBG funds the central management and core activities of these agencies, the CSBG network is able to mobilize additional resources to combat the central causes of poverty. CSBG funding is crucial to the citizens of Maine and helps families address emergency needs, stabilize health and financial well-being, and build assets for a more secure future. The following are just a few of the CSBG-funded programs that created strong families and communities across the state in 2016: